Philip and Joy Kirkland - April 2018
Hi friends and family in the Lord. There isn’t enough room here to thank you for your commitment to God’s work in Athens and our family’s part in it. We appreciate you all so much, and we are conscientious of the fact that we represent your investment in the kingdom here. We strive to be good stewards of that in all we do. Sometimes that keeps us from sending out as many updates as we would like, because we want to be diligently serving and investing HERE! This doesn’t mean that we don’t care about staying in touch. Please always feel free to ask us questions, share how you would like to be updated, or come visit us and see for yourself what God is doing! We always love hearing from you and praying for you as well, so please stay in touch.
With love, Philip and Joy
Greek Intercultural Church Plant
Are you my mother?
This month our team has been analyzing city maps for public-transport accessible neighborhoods for the church plant. This month we will begin praying in these neighborhoods and asking for God’s direction- please pray with us!
One of the exciting steps in the process of planting an intercultural church in Athens has been working with our national pastors and church planters to determine a mother church. We are grateful for the way God has opened the door for the Exarcheia Church in Athens to be ready and willing to plant this new church. We are really looking forward to ministering closely with these brothers and sisters who we already love and trust.
Caring for the community of faith
Hosting a staff retreat day for Faros Hope Center Staff.
Joy has been encouraged in her work as staff care counselor at Faros (an NGO closely partnering with the Exarcheia church plant). She continues providing member care and counseling for staff and translators at the refugee women and children’s center and the shelter for unaccompanied minors.
Counseling is also a part of how she serves our local team and the church community in various ways, and with women impacted by prostitution and trafficking as Care Coordinator at Nea Zoi. She hopes to finish more studies in trauma counseling next year.
Dependent on God's grace
It’s hard to believe that our kiddos will soon be 15, 12, and 9! We are so thankful that in the successes and failures of parenting, God remains faithful and His grace keeps ministering to us and our kids. We are so grateful that you pray for us as a family, as this is essential to our health, effectiveness and longevity in ministry. There are lots of challenges these days as we see God doing things in our city and in our family. Please keep praying for our kids as they navigate the complexities of a cross cultural world.
|Everly marching with her school in the Greek Independence Day Parade.||A roadside stop on our way to an overnight marriage/family retreat outside the city with couples from our church. Philip and Joy spoke about forgiveness in marriage.|
Celebrating the Persion New Year with friends from all over the world.
|Nora representing her school at the Scholar's World Cup in Athens.||Everly and Abraham ready to perform traditional Greek music. Everly along with her classmates put on a historic play about the Greek journey to independence under the Ottoman Empire.|
Please pray for:
- Our core group for the church plant as we meet regularly to pray.
- For Greek singles, couples, and families who will have a vision for an intercultural church to join our core group.
- Finances needed to launch the church
- That we would be a blessing and encouragement to the Exarcheia church as we come under them and gain momentum and vision for planting.
- Our kids as they grow and face some of the complexities of their two home cultures and belonging. Please pray that their identity will be fixed in Jesus.
- Strength, wisdom, and support for Joy’s counseling ministry.